Skip to main content

Cookie blockers

See All Stories

Mini-review: Cookie Cookie, the iOS app you’ll only open once but appreciate daily

FT Cookie Policy Screen

Cookies have a bad rap, with assorted non-techies describing them as ‘tracking your web activities,’ as if they somehow enabled someone to sit and watch what you do. The reality, of course, is that the most they can ever do in the way of tracking is note that you saw an ad on one website and later visited the online store to buy the product. Mostly what cookies do is simply recognize who we are when we return to a website – and they are easy to block if we really want to.

But the mainstream media got carried away, politicians got involved and it became law in Europe that any website using cookies had to inform visitors with a message that had to be actively dismissed. Most U.S. sites erred on the side of caution by following suit, subjecting almost all of us to pointless and annoying notices.

Cookie Cookie is an iOS app that does one thing and one thing only: does its level best to hide all cookie notices. You’ll only ever need to interact with it once. Open the app, then go into Settings > Safari > Content Blockers to allow it to run – and you’re done.

It can’t work perfectly, as there is no 100% reliable method for detecting cookies, so the app searches for them by name. More precisely, it uses CSS queries to look for HTML elements containing the most commonly-used names: cookie-notice, cPolicy, cconsent and so on. When it finds one of these, it hides the HTML element. The result is a web largely free from annoying messages you have to dismiss to get on with your day. In a few days of using it, I’ve found it blocked almost all of them.

So long as the app is open in the background, it will sit there silently doing its job on both iPhone and iPad. Cookie Cookie costs $0.99 from iTunes, but we have a few giveaway codes you can use – when you use one, please paste the code you used into comments afterwards so people can see it’s gone.